“The humor is just not landing. The whole thing is too offensive. You cannot say these things anymore. It’s not like we’re in the 20th century.”
It seems like Decoupled already knew it’s problem when a character is speaking about another show within the Netflix series. But still, it has decided to go in that direction while hiding behind the genre of comedy or satire. Honestly, when I saw the promotional material on Netflix, I thought it was a crime thriller or a passion-filled sexy drama. Then, the trailer convinced me it was a comedy based on the tone and music. But when I finally watched it, I find Decoupled to be a show with an interesting concept but executed badly. It was not a funny comedy.
Decoupled is a story about a couple, Arya Iyer (R. Madhavan) and Shruti (Surveen Chawla) who have decided to get a divorce. Both want their daughter and society will know that divorce doesn’t have to be ugly and a marriage can end in a friendly, respectful manner. The eight episodes written by Manu Joseph are about how the couple navigate their lives as a separated couple before announcing to the world and leading up to a decoupling party in the end.
There are multiple plot inconsistencies throughout the series. An example is Shruti’s job. In the first few episodes, she is a founder of a startup but a few episodes later, we are told that she works for a venture capital firm. Then, in a few more episodes, we are told she started her own company again. The show just cannot make up its mind.
Decoupled has also been bashed by a slew of negative reviews from both audiences and critics, and I have to agree with them. The body shaming, islamophobia and act of belittling the lower class does not sit well even though it is supposedly “comedy”. For instance, Arya used his driver to help settle a score with a neighbour. He made his driver commit publicly shameful acts in order to further humiliate his neighbour, all the while grinning from behind the scenes and completely disregarding the position he put his driver in. The fact that he did this after reconciling with his driver on another matter makes it even worse.
The character Arya is supposed to be a character that has no filter, someone who says things as it is. I believe some of the audience will appreciate this character as one that is not always “politically-correct”. In fact, I myself appreciated a few moments like one where he asks if an Indian worker in a Vietnamese restaurant is uncomfortable dressing up in a Vietnamese costume. However, for the most part, Arya Iyer is a self-centered, unemphatic character that is difficult to root for. I was hoping for Shruti to go through with the divorce the whole time as she deserves better.
Highly-recommended to skip.
Streaming on Netflix
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